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JUNK FEST 2024: Meet New Zealand’s Music Underground

A brand-new mini-festival is bringing together the best of New Zealand’s music underground



Léa Taillefer

What a time is to be a music fan in Auckland. Just one week after beloved venue The Wine Cellar spent an entire week celebrating its 20th birthday, now it’s the turn of JUNK FEST, a brand-new mini-festival bringing together the best of New Zealand’s music underground.

13 of the most exciting up-and-coming acts from across the country, from Dunedin DIY musicians to Auckland producers to a slew of post-punk bands, will assemble inside Whammy Bar, Backroom, and The Wine Cellar (getting in on the action again) this Friday, June 7th.

Running from 8:30pm-2am, you can check out the timetable to the mini-festival here, but just exactly who are these acts from Aotearoa’s music underground?

Below, we take you through all 13 acts on the JUNK FEST lineup, to help you decide who to see if any timetable clashes occur.

Ticket information for JUNK FEST 2024 is available here

JUNK FEST 2024 Lineup


The solo project of Recitals’ Christian Dimick is definitely worth a listen. Awning’s brisk but impressive 2024 EP, Gold Star, is one of the most underrated New Zealand releases of the year so far. Dimick’s sombre and sensitive slowcore boasts lots of promise for the future of the solo project.


One half of Imugi 이무기, Caru possesses the solo production chops to impress on their own. Caru’s Bandcamp page contains incessantly catchy remixes of the likes of Nesian Mystik, Aaradhna, and Anika Moa, and that’s just in the last year alone.

Cold Ceiling

A last-minute addition, sure, but a worthy one. The muscular rhythms of their 2022 release Exsanguinate & Speak in a Dim Cave was the work of a tight ensemble growing in confidence with each other. With a new album coming soon, expect them to unveil some new material at JUNK FEST.

Dale Kerrigan

There’s a reason RNZ praised Dale Kerrigan’s second album, The Water, as being “one of last year’s [2022] most exciting local guitar records. A cacophonous collection of songs that rewarded close listeners, the Dunedin band powered their way through post-punk, noise-rock, spoken word, and almost everything in between on The Water.

Elliot and Vincent

New Zealand loves a powerhouse rock duo (see Earth Tongue), and Elliot Finn and Vincent Cherry could be one of the best yet. 2024 is slated to see their first official release, but they spent 2023 supporting Ringlets, Royal Blood, and Alex Cameron, developing their sound on some big platforms.


One of the standouts on the all ages lineup at The Others Way 2023, Feshh make disorienting noise-pop reminiscent of Alex G’s most recent output. If you miss them at JUNK FEST, catch them in Wellington supporting Carb on Carb the following Friday.

Grecco Romank

Tipped by us to win Best Alternative Artist at last week’s Aotearoa Music Awards (only art-pop icon Princess Chelsea could stop them), Grecco Romank could arguably claim to be Auckland’s most popular current live act. (Though Dick Move would have something to say about that.) Come see what all the fuss is about with “NZ’s premiere bogan-techno opera electronic act” this Friday.


Noted Fazerdaze fan K M T P – aka Keria Paterson – makes emotive indie rock of the highest order. On last year’s debut album, With Love, K M T P, Paterson’s direct songwriting was complemented well by the crunching layers of distortion surrounding it, with Peter Ruddell (Wax Chattels, Sulfate) lending his expertise on production. In the music of K M T P, being earnest is a positive thing; you’ll be relating to their honest tales in no time.

Power Nap

Power Nap is the alter ego of Chris Cudby, Under The Radar editor by day, genre-bending musician by night; like Clark Kent with a synthesiser. Expect a strong set at JUNK FEST: Cudby has been relentless with his Power Nap project this year, bringing his imaginative samples and grooves to Wellington, Whanganui, and beyond.


When they’re not indulging in apple-crunching antics on live radio, Ringlets really are one of the most exciting bands Auckland has produced in a long time. Their self-titled debut album was one of the best post-punk releases of 2023, but their new single, “New Life”, might be their finest work yet, a new wave-inflected jam that demands to be played again as soon as one listen comes to an end.

Salt Water Criminals

“I don’t know what I’m doing,” Salt Water Criminals’ Spotify bio states, but the Dunedin musician certainly knows their way about a fuzzy alternative rock track or two. Their 2023 debut album, House of Highs, starts loud and gets even louder; expect Salt Water Criminals’ raucous sound to go down a storm up close at JUNK FEST.

Soft Bait

Named as one of Rolling Stone AU/NZ‘s Up-And-Coming Aotearoa Artists, Soft Bait make brooding post-punk of the Iceage variety, which is always a good thing. “There’s something in it for everyone – you could play it at a birthday party or at a funeral,” the band’s vocalist Joshua Hunter told us last year, but their bruising songs will sound much better at an underground music event like JUNK FEST.


Another seriously noisy duo, and another good duo at that. TOOMS (the all caps matches their barrage of sound) released their debut album, FAKE TEETH, in 2022, a collection of tracks that sounded so abrasive on record that they might well melt your face off in a live setting. Dorian Novak and Nich Cunningham don’t know how to do things by halves, and nor should they.